Tag Archives: contemporary art

U3 Artsy Link Round-Up

Dark Mountain Book & Painting By Rima

1.) Collin David reviews The Art Hustle Trading Cards (Series 2).

2.) Breast drawing advice — hint: nudity in the illustrated guide.

3 & 4.) Midori Snyder shares A Bordertown Moment: Skateboards and Skulls and Lotte Reiniger: Silhouette Fairy Tale Films.

5.) Important cultural things to consider and respond to in Are Art Museums Sexist? Yes …And Maybe No (NWS).

6.) Artist Rima shares the inspiration and process behind painting the front cover of the second Dark Mountain Project book.

Beware This Teddy Bear!

Siamese Twin Bear made of Belly Button Lint

Rachel Betty Case made another appearance on Oddities; instead of the Human Ivory works, she presented a teddy bear made of belly button lint.

(The example shown here is of her Siamese version.)

Incredibly creative? Yup.

Nice way to recycle or reuse things that exist? I suppose…

But still rather creepy? More than you probably know…

Check out just how gross belly button lint is in this article at New Scientist: Belly Button Biome Is More Than A Piece Of Fluff.

I’m guessing that’s why Rachel keeps the little teddy bears in glass vials. (I hope the vials are free of the, umm, “artist’s residues” on her hands.)

Super Girls: Life Size Female Action Figures

Super Girls is a collection of store mannequins hand painted and sprayed to look like comic book superheroes and villains. Because each life size art piece is made from a mannequin it is equal to an action figure in that it can be posed! Each art work is numbered.

The New Sand Art

Pinup artist Charlene Lanzel has moved onto something new: Sand Art.

Charlene Lanzel’s Sand Art™ also known as sand animation, is beautiful to look at, but lasts only temporarily. Perhaps what makes this art form so appealing, aside from its beauty, is its fragility.

Sand art is the most compelling new art form to come around in decades. A new trend in art, sand art is a form of live sand painting which evolved from earlier sand animation films. Sand art is dynamic and requires the artist’s presence to happen.

…Charlene Lanzel’s sand art is done live onstage, where people can see the artist doing the performance in total darkness. A video camera is positioned over the glass table upon which the artist creates sand magic. Sand scattered on a light box is formed and reformed into ever changing shapes and images that tell visually powerful stories. Charlene creates these fluid illustrations for large audiences, with an overhead camera instantaneously projecting onto a large screen for the audience to see. It is a practice which uses the visual and aesthetic properties of sand to create a live animated image. Sand is a fluid material and its grains settle by chance, creating living images made of a single texture. This sand art makes life and time flow by, right in front of your eyes.

Charlene Lanzel’s sand art performance is rehearsed and choreographed to specially chosen live or recorded music, enhancing the mood.

And she’s got a Valentine for you:

Introduction To Korean Contemporary Art Exhibit

On January 22nd, Ahn-Nyung / Hello: An Introduction To Korean Contemporary Art opens at LeBasse Projects in Culver City. Curated by Jae Yang (of Art-Merge), the exhibition includes the works of Seok Kim, Yeonju Sung, Hyung Kwan Kim, and Jin Young Yu. These are a few of the works which most capture my fancy:

There’s scant info available at LeBasse; but you can read more in the press release (PDF).

John Waters Says, “Contemporary Art Hates You …And Your Family Too”

I subscribe to Modern Painters, but just now got around to reading the September ’09 issue — despite the fabulous John Waters on the cover.

Mr. Waters need not take it personally; I just have a plethora of magazines to get through, and if they aren’t in the magazine rack in the bathroom, well, it just takes that much longer.

Such reading habits, and the fact that my family refer to the bathroom as “the library,” won’t upset Waters either. If you don’t know that, you don’t know Waters. And you certainly haven’t read the magazine feature, which discusses his contemporary art collection, including:

Over the toilet in the bathroom is a Mike Kelley piece that “really pisses people off,” but Waters asks me not to say why, since he writes about it in his book. Also in the bathroom are a funny “Queer Batman” watercolor by Mark Chamberlain and “a Brigid Berlin tit painting; she painted with her tits.”

In Baltimore, he says, “I have the Michael Jackson print by Gary Hume looking through a glory hole right in my hall, which is really scary. Plus, you can see it in the mirror, which is even worse.”

But more interesting, to me, than the art John Waters collects is the art John Waters makes.

Waters calls his art conceptual and says it’s about writing and editing. “Hardly am I Ansel Adams. Or sitting around with a pottery wheel, like in Ghost. The craft is not the issue here. The idea is. And the presentation.”

And I love the ideas and the presentation. Like this piece, part of his Rear Projection series which combines parts of four film-title stills to spell out: contemporary art hates you.

The work’s title amusing title is …And Your Family Too.

In the article, Lawrence Levi describes Waters’ work this way: “Much of his work pokes fun at the art and film worlds he inhabits, allowing him to be at once an insider and a heckler.”

And if you think Levi or I are reading into the art, here’s what the artist himself has to say about it:

The art world “is a secret club,” Waters says. “It is a language; you have to learn everything. You have to learn how to dress, you have to learn how to see it, you have to learn how to talk about it, you have to learn how to read about it. All of it is impenetrable to a newcomer, and it was to me too.”

So let the art of John Waters speak to you, your insecurity over the intimidating impenetrability of the art world — go ahead and laugh, even. But don’t forget to just open your eyes too:

In his 1998 film Pecker, when the laundromat worker played by Christina Ricci tells her photographer boyfriend, played by Edward Furlong, “I don’t understand any of that art crap,” he replies sincerely, “You could if you just open your eyes.” But as his feelings about impenetrability suggest, Waters has no problem with elitism.

PS The book mentioned — which will contain the story of a Mike Kelley artwork above the toilet that “really pisses people off” — is Role Models; it’s to be published in May, 2010.

PPS I’d just like to say, that when discussing anything John Waters, you’re bound to mention bathroom artwork that piss-es people off, as well as “glory holes,” penetration issues, and the word “pecker.”  And I loved it.

Seeing Around With Edward Tufte

I received a promotional mailing from Edward Tufte about the first major museum exhibition of his sculpture. I can’t say much about the actual exhibition (Seeing Around, on view at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum) as I haven’t been there. (Yet?) But I do have a few thoughts on the promo pieces.

seeing-around-edward-tufte

First of all, any art exhibition, museum, gallery, etc., which uses Charles Schulz’s Peanuts is awesome; but super bonus points for using the strip in which Charlie Brown is too intimidated to discuss what he sees in cloud formations with Lucy. What more of a non-threatening introduction do you need to proceed?

So, like anyone who receives multiple-paged stuff, I began to flip through the pages… Until I found Tufte pièce de résistance: four pages on animals and landscape sculpture.

edward-tufte-animals-and-landscape-sculpture

If seeing the photo of sheep nestled into a contemporary art sculpture doesn’t get you, how about Zerlina the Golden Retriever peeping from Geometric Cutouts? And if that slice of adorableness still doesn’t entice you to read Tufte’s thoughts on the artistic relationships between land, animals, and landscape sculptural artworks, how about a photo of Zerlina’s “repertoire of concealment methodologies” — complete with cartoon bubble thoughts for both the dog and the cast iron lion?

tufte-art-and-animals

I may not have been a real fan of such contemporary and large-scale sculptures before, but through such inviting images and narrative Tufte now has me intrigued…

So I stopped flipping through the brochure, and began reading. And viewing far more of the art (and viewing it far more thoughtfully too).

Inside, Tufte presents some food for thought. Like the images shown, his artist’s statements are welcoming. Tufte just ‘talks’ about his works, his intentions, and invites you to see not only his works, but other works, perhaps in new ways.

art-wrenches-by-edward-tufteHe doesn’t talk down to the reader — but he sure as heck doesn’t ramble on in such a lofty way that makes me think (as I far too often do) that either the Emperor has no clothes or I don’t know a damn thing about art.

(The latter might in fact be true, but such intimidation doesn’t welcome anyone to view the exhibition — other than those, like Hugh Grant, who will pretend they get it to appear hip — which really just reinforces the silence around naked Emperors too.)

From here I fell in love with several of his abstract sculpture series: The eight feet wrenches (above, left), and the Open Ended series (at bottom of the post).

What’s more, I want to stand before them outside. Even if Zerlina and/or the sheep aren’t there. I want to see how the light, the trees Tufte planted in the museum’s sculpture garden, the other people all play with the giant abstract sculptures.

Which is precisely what this catalog or promotional book is supposed to do.

So hat’s off to Tufte for exposing himself as a very fine Emperor of contemporary art sculpture indeed.

open-ended-series-by-edward-tufte

Hugh Grant: Lessons In Buying Art

In the January 2010 issue of Elle magazine, there’s an interview of Hugh Grant by Holly Millea. Whatever you think of Grant, there’s an interesting bit on the actor as an art collector.

Elle: Tell me, is it true that you bought an Andy Warhol painting of Elizabeth Taylor for $4 million in 2002 and sold in it 2007 for $23 million?

HG: Those numbers are not quite correct. It all began with a drink… And I was thinking about some stuff in the Sotheby’s auction and I saw this Warhol, so I drunkenly rang up the girl who helped me with art, and said, “You’re going to bid for that.” And to my horror, she did, and even worse, got it. I slightly regret selling it now, even though it made me rich. My contemporary art collection began with just needing to put things on the wall. I was looking around my Victorian house thinking, “What would be the coolest is contemporary art — it will make me look young and interesting.” I’m more than 80 percent skeptical of the whole thing. Having said that, the stuff I own, I have come to love now.”

See, it doesn’t matter what the size of your wallet celebrity status is, lots of people seem to think owning art will make you seem “young and interesting.” And Grant seems to at least have been intimidated or “skeptical” about art.

elizabeth-taylor-by-andy-warhol-1963 I can’t (ethically) suggest you get drunk and buy art (let alone bid on anything at Sotheby’s or other big auction house); nor do I even hint at a promise of millions in return on your art investment. But if you relax and sort of view buying art as a means to cover your walls, you can do quite well. At least you’re likely to end up with stuff you’ve come to love.

Scans of the interview in its entirety here.

Future Generation Contemporary Art Prize

victor-pinchukUkrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk, via the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, has created a new international contemporary art prize to discover, recognize and give long-term support to a future generation of artists.

The Future Generation Art Prize will be held every two years and the winner will receive $100,000.

All artists up to 35 may apply with their work without any restrictions concerning gender, nationality, race or artistic medium.

The artists apply through an open call via the Internet. Application form shall be available to all on the Prize website.

Additionally, 100 correspondent art experts from all over the world will nominate a minimum of two and a maximum of five candidates. The experts are curators, artists, critics and tutors at art colleges and academies. All artists apart from former Prize winners are be eligible to apply multiple times, as long as they continue to fulfil the entry conditions.

Online applications for the prize will be taken between January 18, 2010 and April 18, 2010. In October of 2010, twenty shortlisted artists will be selected to show their work in an exhibition at Kiev’s PinchukArtCentre, one of the largest centers for contemporary art in the Eastern Europe, founded by Pinchuk in September 2006.